Let the Creativity Flow

Greetings DMIers: I hope you had a successful week 1 and that you’re ready to leap into week 2.


We’re going to do a design thinking activity that was created by the Institute of Design at Stanford. In our class session you will:

  • Brainstorm the gift-giving experience with a partner.
  • Based on that brainstorm you’re going to develop a product prototype.
  • Then, you’re going to test that prototype with your partner.

The pace will be quick and that’s intentional. Remember to spend some time before class thinking about your gift-giving experience. Think about the process, not just the person you gave a gift to and what the actual gift was. Also, think about your personal motivations in this activity.


This week we’re also going to start diving into the creation of your original DMI product concept. You have two assignments to help you jump start your creativity:

  • DMI 1 Pagers: Now That’s Innovation (due Thursday): This task has you identify innovators within the industry you want to focus on this semester. To create your own idea, you need to know what’s already happening in your industry: Who are the innovators? What cool things are being created?
  • Homework 1 Startup Ideas (due Sept. 8) forces you to put into writing some initial product concepts.

Two points to highlight about this product concept creation:

  1. As we saw in the introductory course videos last week, many people will argue that you should follow your passion in your startup ideas. But others, Steve Jobs included, argue that you should focus on what you’re good at rather than what you are passionate about. Why? Check out this Medium article.
  2. The most successful products solve a specific problem the market feels. It will be key for you to be able to clearly define The Problem your market faces. I often refer to this as your customer’s pain point. Example:
  • Let’s say you love going to music festivals or live sporting events. Think about the problems/negative experiences that come along with participation in this activity. If you had the power to change something in this experience, what would it be? Talk to your friends, do they have the same pain point as you? Perhaps they have a different problem to be solved?

The assigned chapters in the Briggs text will also dive into the topics listed above and help you jump start your new product concept creative process.

Enjoy the rest of your weekend. I’ll see you in class Tuesday.


About debrajchico

I teach public relations for Chico State's Department of Journalism & Public Relations. Over the 20+ years of my career I've worked in high-tech agency, governmental and nonprofit PR. I teach courses in entrepreneurial journalism, writing and publication design, PR strategy, advise our student-managed PR agency, and oversee our internship program.

Posted on August 30, 2015, in Digital Media Startups and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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